COCKERELL, Sir Charles, 1st bt. (1755-1837), of Hyde Park House, Mdx. and Sezincote, Glos.
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Family and Education
b. 18 Feb. 1755, 5th s. of John Cockerell of Bishop’s Hull, Som. and Frances, da. and coh. of John Jackson of Clapham, Surr. educ. Winchester 1767-9. m. (1) 11 Mar. 1789, at Calcutta, Mary Tryphena (d. 8 Oct. 1789), da. of Sir Charles William Blunt, 3rd bt., s.p.; (2) 13 Feb. 1808, Hon. Harriet Rushout, da. of John Rushout†, 1st Bar. Northwick, 1s. 2da.(1 d.v.p.). cr. bt. 25 Sept. 1809. d. 6 Jan. 1837.
Writer, E.I. Co. (Bengal) 1775, factor 1782; asst. at Bhagalpur 1783, collector 1784; jun. merchant 1785; sen. merchant 1790; postmaster-gen. Bengal c.1786-1800; home 1801; commr. bd. of control Apr. 1835-d.
Mayor, Evesham 1810, 1833; sheriff, Glos. 1814-15.
Dir. Globe Insurance Co. 1811.
Cockerell, a nabob and principal partner in a Calcutta mercantile and banking company, had been returned intermittently as the nominee of various boroughmongers until seated on petition for Evesham in 1819, after a contest in which he stood on his father-in-law Lord Northwick’s interest. His many debtors included Lord Wellesley, his former patron, with whom he had followed the Whigs into opposition in 1812, and the 5th duke of Marlborough, one of whose Hampshire properties he seized in 1821 in order to recover ‘a large sum of money’.[footnote] Since 1816 he had given general support to the Liverpool ministry. At the 1820 general election he offered again for Evesham, stressing his ‘past exertions’ in rescuing the representation from nearly a century and a half of ‘progressive encroachments’. (The number of electors had been reduced to about 430 as a result of his petition.) He was returned unopposed.[footnote] A lax attender, who is not known to have spoken in debate, he continued to support government when present.[footnote] He voted against Catholic claims, 28 Feb. 1821. He was a minority teller against reviving the committee on the metropolis light bill, 9 May 1821. On 14 Apr. 1823 he was granted three weeks’ leave on urgent private business. He divided against reform of Edinburgh’s representation, 26 Feb. 1824. He presented an Evesham petition for the abolition of slavery, 5 Apr. 1824.[footnote] He voted for suppression of the Catholic Association, 25 Feb. 1825. On 15 Apr. 1825 he was granted ten days’ leave on account of ill health, and he did not vote in any of the divisions on Catholic relief that session. He divided against Lord John Russell’s resolutions to curb electoral bribery, 26 May 1826.
At the 1826 general election Cockerell offered again, apologizing for being ‘unavoidably detained in London by his public duties’ and sending down his son Charles to canvass on his behalf. After a contest forced by the late announcement of a third candidate, Cockerell, who arrived on the eve of the election, was returned at the head of the poll.[footnote] He was granted leave for ten days on urgent business, 12 Feb., and a month, 20 Feb., and a fortnight, 29 Mar. 1827, on account of family illness. He was absent from the division on Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, but present to vote against it, 12 May 1828. In February 1829 Planta, the Wellington ministry’s patronage secretary, predicted that he would vote ‘with government’ for Catholic emancipation, but on 2 Mar. he was granted three weeks’ leave because of ill health, and his name appears in none of the divisions that month. He voted against the transfer of East Retford’s seats to Birmingham, 11 Feb. 1830.
At the 1830 general election Cockerell contradicted a ‘false report, most industriously circulated’ that it was his intention to retire from Evesham, and was returned in first place afte